Talk:Glenn Gould

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Former good article nomineeGlenn Gould was a Music good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
December 23, 2011Good article nomineeNot listed

The Gold/Gould Name Change[edit]

The article included a claim that "Gould was born Glen Gold" and that his family "changed its name ... fearing that it would otherwise be mistaken as Jewish ..." This kind of speculation shows up all too often in many places ([1], [2], [3] are just a few), even in Peter Ostwald's psychoanalytic quasi-biography of Gould.

There was no such name change. In fact, Glenn Gould's parents were Russell Herbert ("Bert") Gould and Florence ("Flora") Emma Greig Gould, Presbyterians of Scottish extraction. I have corrected the paragraph accordingly, with an embedded comment referring to this talk page section. Reference: Otto Friedrich, Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations (Vintage Books, a division of Random House, New York, 1989), pp. 13-14. Friedrich provided considerable detail; here is just a scrap:

Peter Greig, one of thirteen children of a Scottish farmer, emigrated to Canada in the mid-nineteenth century. He and his wife, Emma, had ten children, one of whom was Charles Holman Greig, who married Mary Catherine Flett, whose father, a carpenter from the Orkneys, died in a fall from the roof of the Bank of Montreal. One of their children, Florence, duly met and married Russell Herbert Gould, whose father's business card said: "Thomas G. Gould, Fur Salon, Designers and Manufacturers of Quality Fur Garments." Bert Gould inherited and managed that prosperous fur business. His wife was forty-two when their only son was born. But even before he was born, according to her niece, Jessie Greig, "she did play music all the time she was carrying Glenn, with the hope that he was going to be a classical pianist." [emphasis added]

BTW, the article gives Gould's mother's maiden name as "Grieg"; it should be "Greig". Kevin Bazzana — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

In the context of the apparent popularity of the belief in the mythical Gold/Gould name change, it should be noted that if antisemitism was a problem the name Gould was itself quite enough to attract it — compare similar but more openly hostile nineteenth century speculation remarked upon in the Jay Gould article:

Contrary to the assumptions of Henry Ford and Henry Adams, who presumed Gould to be a Jew, Gould's father was of British colonial ancestry, and his mother of Scottish ancestry .... Anti-semitism in connection with Gould's name motivated some of this hostility, even though he was born a Presbyterian and married an Episcopalian. [emphasis added]

In addition to how problematic and harmful speculation can be, and how peculiarly inappropriate it is in an encyclopedia article, the Presbyterian/Scottish connection has gone unnoticed here as well. Of the many names on the list of those with the surname Gould, I would not be surprised if far more than half have Scots/British ancestral roots. Athaenara 00:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, your comments certainly sound authoritative! Why do you privilege Friedrich's narrative over Bazzana's? His biography is quite clear on this point: "[Glenn's] birth certificate gave his name as 'Gold, Glenn Herbert.' The family name had always been Gold, and when his grandfather...established the family business in 1913, he gave it the name 'Gold Standard Furs' (pun presumably intended). All of the documents through 1938 that survive among Gould's papers give his surname as 'Gold,' but beginning at least as early as 1939 the family name was almost always printed as 'Gould' in newspapers, programs, and other sources; the last confirmed publication of 'Gold' is in the program for a church supper and concert on October 27, 1940." (Bazzana, Wondrous Strange, 24).
Now, I don't want to stand in the way of your sanctimoniousness, but I believe that documentary evidence weighs in as the only proof of historical fact. Your quotation from Friedrich offers no documentary evidence -- only an undated business card.
Bazzana goes on to discuss the regrettable climate of increasing xenophobia that apparently prevailed in Toronto at the time, and the influence this may have had on the (documented!) name change, but any thoughtful person can surmise from the dates (1939-40) that this may have been the case.
In any event, this entire discussion is much less "problematic and harmful" (whatever that means) than inane and boring. The information is anecdotal, and of mild and passing interest, but really, WHO CARES one way or the other? Max Blaze 00:33, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I do, for one. Regardless of the motivation for the change, if it is indeed true that the name was changed, this is exactly the sort of detail that an encyclopedia should be recording. The experts seem to be disagreeing, but I wait with baited breath for the day when the truth - whatever it is - can finally be revealed. JackofOz 10:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that various sources confirm the parent's name change although the official record is 'missing'. I believe that there is no evidence to suggest a motivation, although there are the above-mentioned speculations. I believe that the article should make some mention of this issue, but restricting itself as far as possible to well-sourced statements of fact, and avoiding repeating unsubstantiated speculations (or clearly noting them as such). If it is felt to be a contentious issue then we do not need to mention it in the infobox or lead section, and could simply include a footnote to the sentence about his birth, summarizing the evidence. Stumps 02:59, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I made a few footnotes documenting both sides of the issue. :)--Wormsie 14:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Nice work ... I'll see if I can dig up an other evidence one way or the other ... I seem to remember some reference to the actual birth certificate. Stumps 23:30, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, good use of footnotes. --Ronz 23:53, 2 October 2007 (UTC)


Let me preface this by pointing out: it's not a myth, it's true. I have altered the article and provided full references from Bazzana, who has researched the subject properly. For a full discussion, may I point you towards: 'Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould', by Kevin Bazzana, p.24-28. 13:16, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't know anything about whether the name change is true, but if the article is going to mention it, then it should at least mention what the name was changed from. Right now it just says it was changed to avoid association with the name 'Gold'. Inserting the words 'from Gold' would help clarify the paragraph, and not require the reader to read later in the sentence to understand the earlier part. In other words, it'd be better writing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:01, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree entirely. First, we're saying he was born to Bert and Florence Gould in 1932. Then, we're saying they changed their name to Gould in 1939 - but from what, we're not told. Later still, there's a reference to the name Gold, but nothing that explicitly says they were ever called Gold. It's a mish-mash. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:07, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I think you make a good point JackofOz. Bazzana, which I have a copy of, has researched the documentation which shows that Gould's parents were married as Herbert and Florrie Gold, subsequently, either informally or formally, changed to Gould. The paternal ancestry is Gold. Short of visiting the Canadian archives ourselves and personally viewing the documents, we have to accept that Bazzana, as a respected author and researcher is accurate. It looks as if Friedrich has not researched this issue as deeply as Bazzana. Would it be a solution to change Gould to Gold in the first sentence? That's all that's needed since the unsigned editor(26 February 2009) above has already provided several footnotes to Bazzana. Welham66 (talk) 04:18, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Further to the above, I mean changing Herbert and Florrie Gould to Herbert and Florrie Gold, not the first reference to Glenn Gould in the main body of the article. Welham66 (talk) 04:27, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I have the papers to show the name change from Thomas Gold to Thomas Gould.......write to — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

The Romantics[edit]

The author's statement that "After his adolescence, Gould rejected most of the standard Romantic piano literature including Liszt, Schumann, and Chopin" is not really accurate. He did record Chopin's Sonata in B minor Op. 58, as well as several long Liszt-Beethoven pieces. If he hadn't approved of the Liszt versions of Beethoven, I'm sure he would have written his own transcriptions to record. He also transcribed and recorded several Wagner pieces. (talk) 22:26, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

How so? "Most" - which technically means 51% - Gould recorded ONE piece by your statement - out of hundreds of Romantic piano compositions. Also, the article statement reflects STANDARD - Liszt's Beethoven transcriptions are hardly standard - they were just oddities that are very rarely recorded, let alone performed in concert. Gould just didn't fit in with the Romantics - sample his gawdawful version of Brahms' 1st piano concerto with Bernstein as an example. A couple of exceptions to his concentration on Baroque and a few of the 20th Century Modernists does not violate what the article states. (talk) 10:31, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Silence of the Lambs[edit]

I removed the part that claims Gould's Goldberg Variations appears in the Film Silence of the Lambs. The film credits Jerry Zimmerman with the performance.

JunblaA 8:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure about that. People associated with the film didn't add that information in, IMDb users did. Also, compare Google hits for "Silence of the Lambs" with "Jerry Zimmerman ([4]) against a search with "Glenn Gould" ([5]). I'm going to replace the information in the article for the moment until it is conclusively proven that it was Zimmerman and not Gould. At the moment things seem to point to Gould. --DearPrudence (talk) 00:17, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Have you listened to Gould's version, and the film version as well? They're not the same. The film version's Aria is clearly played at a faster tempo, and repeated, which Gould did not do. Gould comes up more, because he is explicitly mentioned in the book, and clearly a more popular pianist.
This site: also lists Zimmerman. I'm not sure what is going to "conclusively prove" that it was not Gould. Does the writer of this article have evidence that it was Gould, other than quantity of Google hits? I have IMDb and Yahoo Movies supporting me here.
JunblaA 3:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with JunblaA. Having listened closely to the SOTL version I'm quite convinced it's not Gould. The ornamentation is not in Gould's style either. Compare it to the much slower tempo Hannibal version where you can hear Gould humming. Someone else put the Zimmerman claim back in the other day and in editing that section I left it in. The balance of evidence is I think 99% not Gould so I think it reasonable Zimmerman stays in until proven otherwise. Welham66 (talk) 11:54, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Well Gould recorded the Variations twice, the later version being much slower than the first, so we'd need a more expert opinion . . . -FM (talk) 04:23, 15 June 2009 (UTC)FM
I am intimately acquainted with both Gould recordings and with excerpt heard in SOTL - which is definitely not Gould. I believe the confusion arises from the SOTL novel, in which Hannibal Lecter is in a hotel room after his escape, listening to Gould play the Goldberg Variations. I imagine getting the rights for Gould's recording for the film would have been expensive, and it was probably cheaper to hire a pianist to play them.THD3 (talk) 18:04, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
The movie itself credits Jerry Zimmerman. Hattrem (talk) 20:10, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This is a nice article; it gives what is probably an appropriate amount of space to Gould's composing. I do have some other issues with the article; they are in my review on the comments page. Questions and comments should be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 16:08, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Changes to Lead Section[edit]

I've re-written and enlarged the Lead section, partly in response to the quality report on the article which said the lead section was too short for an article of this size. I'm assuming it's OK not to document everything in the Lead on the assumption the body of the article discusses and documents what's in the lead. I can add some refs. if anyone thinks they're needed. (Actually, I think we might need a reference for Gould's plans to quit the piano - I'm not sure if that's documented in the article or not - will check). Of course if any editors object to and want to change the new emphases in the lead, please discuss. Welham66 (talk) 05:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

This article has really improved over the last few months. Kudos to whoever improved it--you I think! Outriggr (talk) 01:59, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the kudos, Outriggr! I don't think I deserve all of it. A lot of other editors, including yourself, have made valuable contributions. I would welcome your views on whether you think the article is ready for another assessment upgrade. Regards Welham66 (talk) 03:22, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Works by and about Gould[edit]

Why are we talking upwards? Shouldn't a conversation logically progress down?

Regardless, see musical biography FAs like Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Michael Jackson, and Nine Inch Nails. There are plenty of "works by or about" these people, but they don't appear on those pages. I can immediately see that works by Gould and his contributions to movies should be reinstated (but preferably in prose format) and included into the "Compositions" and "Recordings" sections respectively. Otherwise, I find it hard to determine what is notable for mention. In reference to Olivier Messiaen, the "Works" section corresponds to the "Compositions" section in Gould, and the "References" section in Gould can be converted into the "References and further reading" found in Messiaen. Furthermore, I intend to (but have not yet) use many of those books listed to add references into the Gould article. In addition, Messiaen was promoted in 2006, and I would question if the

Generally speaking, it's not that I find the information useless; I just find the information incorrectly provided (as a list). @Elisabeth, if you disagree with me, feel free to revert (per WP:BRD) and discuss :D ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 19:26, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Elisabethserafimovski. I'm not sure what the problem is with the section. The featured article Olivier Messiaen has a similar and even longer listing of material. I don't understand how having such a section should disqualify an article as a potential FA candidate, as NocturneNoir implies. I'm also unclear how a lot of the material doesn't 'pertain to Gould's life', as NocturneNoir maintains. If I'm missing something about Wiki article style policies etc. I'm happy to be corrected.Welham66 (talk) 13:59, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I found this whole section extremely useful and think it ought to remain. I have actually used it in doing research on Gould. Does anyone else agree? Is it possible to contest the removal of this section please? Elisabethserafimovski (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:03, 10 October 2009 (UTC).

I was bold and removed this section on Gould because I don't think it pertains to Gould's life particularly well. Also, no other FA-rated biography has a list like this. I've pasted the code below in case anybody wants to access it. ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 04:41, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Musical works[edit]

  • Louie, Alexina (1982), O Magnum Mysterium: In Memoriam Glenn Gould. For string orchestra.


  • Andreacchi, Grace (2007), Scarabocchio A novel in which a lightly fictionalized Glenn Gould plays a prominent part.
  • Bazzana, Kevin (1997), Glenn Gould: The Performer in the Work. Clarendon, ISBN 0-19-816656-7
  • Bazzana, Kevin (2003), Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517440-2
  • Bernhard, Thomas (1991), The Loser. A fictional account of a relationship with Glenn Gould and Vladimir Horowitz. University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-04388-6
  • Canning, Nancy (1992), A Glenn Gould Catalog. Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-27412-6
  • Carroll, Jock (1995), Glenn Gould: Some Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man. Stoddart, ISBN 0-7737-2904-6
  • Cott, Jonathan (2005), Conversations with Glenn Gould. University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-11623-9. Interview in two parts from 1974. Originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.
  • Friedrich, Otto (1989), Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations. Random House, ISBN 0-679-73207-1
  • Hafner, Katie (2008), A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano. McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 0-7710-3754-6
  • Kazdin, Andrew (1989), Glenn Gould at Work: Creative Lying. E.P. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-24817-X
  • Mesaros, Helen M.D. (2008), Bravo Fortissimo: Glenn Gould: The Mind of a Canadian Virtuoso. American Literary Press Inc., ISBN 1-5616-7985-2
  • National Library of Canada (1992), Descriptive Catalogue of the Glenn Gould Papers. ISBN 0-660-57327-X
  • Ostwald, Peter (1997), Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius. Norton, ISBN 0-393-04077-1
  • Page, Tim (1984), The Glenn Gould Reader. Contains a select collection of Gould's essays, articles, and liner notes. Knopf, ISBN 0-394-54067-0
  • Payzant, Geoffrey (1992), Glenn Gould Music and Mind. Key Porter, ISBN 1-55013-439-6
  • Rieger, Stefan (1997), Glenn Gould czyli sztuka fugi. Słowo/Obraz Terytoria, ISBN 978-83-7453-834-3
  • Robert, John P.L. and Ghyslaine Guertin (1992), Glenn Gould: Selected Letters. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-540799-7
  • Rosen, Charles (2002), Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist. The Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-4312-9.
  • Hafner, Katie (2009). A romance on three legs : Glenn Gould's obsessive quest for the perfect piano (Pbk. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1596915250.

Films about Gould[edit]

  • Glenn Gould On the Record and Glenn Gould Off the Record (both 1959). Documentaries. National Film Board of Canada.
  • Glenn Gould (1961). Biography by the NFB.
  • Conversations with Glenn Gould (1966). Filmed conversations between Glenn Gould and Humphrey Burton on classical composers. BBC.
  • The Idea of North (film) (1970). Produced and directed by Judith Pearlman; based on Gould's original audio version.
  • Music and Terminology, Chemins de la Musique (1973–76). Glenn Gould talking about and performing music by Bach, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Gibbons, Byrd, Berg, and Wagner. Series of four films directed by Bruno Monsaingeon.
  • Radio as Music (1975). Film adaptation of an article by John Jessop (in collaboration with Gould) on Glenn Gould's contrapuntal radio documentary techniques.
  • Bach Series (1979–91). Series of three films of Glenn Gould talking about and performing the music of Bach: Goldberg Variations, Variations: Chromatic Fantasy, Partita No. 4, and excerpts from The Well-Tempered Clavier and The Art of Fugue. Clasart.
  • The Goldberg Variations: Glenn Gould Plays Bach (1981). The Bach Series directed by Bruno Monsaingeon.
  • Variations on Glenn Gould. Documentary on Glenn Gould at a recording session, making a radio documentary and in the Ontario northland.
  • Solitude, Exile and Ecstasy was a BBC Radio 3 drama broadcast in 1991. It features Gould as a character and is structured by sequential selections from his 1981 performance of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations.[1]
  • Les Variacions Gould (1992). Directed by Manuel Huerga, documentary coproduced by Ovideo TV about Glenn Gould in the tenth anniversary of his death. This film has received several awards and has been finalist in the International Visual Music Awards of Cannes '93.
  • Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould (1993). Directed by François Girard and starring Colm Feore as Gould.
  • Glenn Gould: The Russian Journey (2002). The 1957 trip in the USSR and Gould's performances in Moscow and Leningrad.
  • Extasis (2003). Documentary featuring Glenn Gould in concert; also, interviews with acquaintances.
  • Glenn Gould: Life & Times (2003). DVD documentary. Contains performances, sessions, and interviews. Also a look at his (still-playable) grand piano and chair.
  • Glenn Gould: The Alchemist (2003). DVD documentary footage of Gould's performances and interviews with Gould about his music and life.
  • Glenn Gould: au-delà du temps (2005). A French-Canadian documentary by Bruno Monsaingeon, 107 minutes, first aired on arte, May 13, 2006, Winner of Fipa d’or 2006, catégorie musique et spectacles.
  • Gould contributed to the screenplay of the experimental CBC/PBS TV movie The Idea of North, produced and directed by Judith Pearlman.[2]
  • Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009; Director's cut, 2010) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Charlton, Bruce. "Solitude, Exile and Ecstasy". BBC. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  2. ^ ""Idea of North, the Film! Toronto Gets its First Look in 38 Years", Glenn Gould Foundation

Films using Gould's music[edit]

Gould's recorded music has been featured in many other films, both in his lifetime and after his death.

  1. ^ In the novel, Hannibal is an eight-year-old in 1941 (p. 5). At eighteen (p. 163) he is the youngest medical student in French history, the age at which the injection scene occurs. The book makes no mention of the Goldberg Variations, however. During this scene Lecter plays a "scratchy record" of "children's songs" on a "wind-up phonograph" (p. 197). The film closely follows the novel's chronology, or at least attempts to. (Page references are to the 2006 William Heinemann edition).

Published music[edit]

  • Cadenza to Beethoven Concerto No.1, Op. 15 (Barger and Barclay)
  • Piano Pieces ISMN: M-001-08466-6 (Schott)
  • String Quartet Op. 1 (Barger and Barclay ed., 1956)
  • String Quartet Op. 1 ISMN: M-001-12171-2 (Schott ed.)
  • Lieberson Madrigal (SATB and Piano) ISMN: M-001-11577-3 (Schott)
  • So You Want to Write a Fugue? (G. Schirmer)
  • Sonata for Piano ISMN: M-001-13363-0 (Schott)
  • Sonata for Bassoon and Piano ISMN: M-001-09317-0 (Schott)

Gould's chair[edit]

In the section 'Gould as a pianist', it says:

When Gould was around ten years old, he injured his back as a result of a fall from a boat ramp on the shore of Lake Simcoe.[18] This incident is almost certainly not related to his father's subsequent construction for him of an adjustable-height chair, which he used for the rest of his life.

Emphasis mine. Is this statement correct? If so, it is very oddly phrased. (talk) 16:16, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the statement is correct. It is very clear from Friedrich that the chair was designed to enable Gould to sit at a certain height in relation to the keyboard, not because of a back injury. Earlier versions of the article, I recall, incorrectly linked the back injury and the chair, a misconception which the 'statement' corrects, but probably doesn't need to bother with at all. If you want to have a go at improving the phrasing, please go ahead. Welham66 (talk) 07:02, 24 November 2009 (UTC)


Was Gould forgiving of audience members who coughed?Lestrade (talk) 05:57, 2 December 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Top 10 Pianists of All Time[edit]

I don't think this should be in the list of external links as it is just some guy's website and despite what he thinks of himself and his reasons for the choices he's made, the ranking is arbitrary and meaningless. He spends most of his time lamely attempting to insult the reader, rather than just letting his words stand on their own merit. (talk) 22:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Citation style[edit]

The citation style of this article is rather inconsistent. For instance, we have

Bazzana (2003), p. 21 ref,
Ostwald 1997, p. 71 ref, and
Friedrich, 1990, p. 147 ref

as three different short-form styles of citing books. It might be a good idea at some point to go through them all and match them to a single style (perhaps one with bells and whistles). (talk) 13:51, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree, but I think this falls under WP:SOFIXIT. I was planning to do it myself sometime. The years for short-form citations are not necessary, as none of the authors have more than one work referenced. May I suggest the common "Bazzana, 21" format. Riggr Mortis (talk) 23:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I had begun making the refs uniform as "Bazzana (2003), p. 229", but stopped when I got too busy. Also was dragging most of the refs to notes and then ref'ing the notes (if you know what I mean). I just feel there's a great deal of original research and synthesis in this article, so I'm unsure if everything here should be kept... I'll work on this page later this week if I can find the time. ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 18:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Let me know if you are referring to what I've recently added. I am all for attributed synthetic elements -- they are what make a biography interesting, especially Gould's, thus my focus -- but they are not the same as synthesis. Even without regard to what I've added, I don't see anything that concerns me in the article other than, obviously, degree of completeness/due weight. Riggr Mortis (talk) 22:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


IN NOTE 15: "The claim that Gould "never should hands" is exaggerated." SEEMS TO ME TO BE PERHAPS: "never shook hands" ... but I don't know how to fix it... Anyone can help me? (talk) 11:20, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I've corrected it now. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:40, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


There is no list of Gould's recordings in this article. Is that intentional? --Thomas B (talk) 09:31, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Long discographies are generally given their own article, at least when the artist is prominent. For one thing, long lists don't fit well with prose. You'd create Discography of Glenn Gould and then add a {{main|Discography of Glenn Gould]] template at the top of a relevant section in the Gould article. That's something I would like to see. The list could be developed well with review commentary on each album, etc. Riggr Mortis (talk) 00:21, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Glenn Gould's politics[edit]

Glenn Gould had political views. He decried capitalism and was a proponent of socialism, can we include this in his bio? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:18, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Organ recordings[edit]

In the article it is written, that his only organ recordings, were of bachs art of fugue. I think this is not true. I have a recording (it is included on the schoenberg disc of the glenn gould original jacket collection) of him playing Schoenberg: Variations on a Recitative, Op. 40 on organ. There is also a recording availabe of glenn gould playing Bach's St. Annes fugue --helohe (talk) 20:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Glenn Gould/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Lampman (talk · contribs) 22:09, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Looks really good. A few things right away:

  • Ref 64 is messed up Fixed
  • Ref 68 contains a bare URL, which is also dead (collectionscanada)  Done Fixed
  • There is also a bare URL in the external links (Genius Within) Done
  • Three more dead links in the external links:
    • Writings and Works Done
    • Glenn Gould Broadcastsminus Removed
    • GlennGould Magazine Fixed
  • One category is a redlinkminus Removed

I'll be back with more. Lampman (talk) 13:29, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Before we go any further though: does the nominator have any serious involvement with the creation of the article? It doesn't seem so from the history. This is no requirement, I just want to make sure you will be able to deal with any suggestions for improvement that may come along. Do you, for instance, have access to the books that have been used as the main sources for the article? I also see that you have a failed nomination for the article on Johann Sebastian Bach; are you sure you are entirely familiar with the nomination process? I just want to make sure before we continue with this. Lampman (talk) 19:58, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

  • What is the status of this review? Have any of the article's contributors come forward to implement improvements? My suggestion would be to finish the review (using the GA criteria and then put it on hold if it needs to sit for a few days. Right now, it looks as though it has been untouched for 5 days. AstroCog (talk) 13:11, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
    • It's been a week and no action has been taken, so I could fail it right away. I could, however, contact some of the actual contributers to see if they want to collaborate, cause it's not that far away from a GA, I think. Lampman (talk) 03:34, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
      Been another couple weeks, so might as well be failed now. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 17:33, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Extended review[edit]

Apoligies for the delay. At closer scrutiny, the article seems to have some major sourcing issues. This goes both for statements that can be seen as POV or OR, and statements that are direct or indirect quotes from Gould himself. This is why I believed it was important that an editor working on a GA review should be familiar with, and have access to the literature.

Various issues:

  • The infobox template (Infobox writer) is being considered for merging, but most likely it will end in oppose. I can also see why this template has been used rather than the more relevant "Infobox musical artist", seeing how this one allows for more parameters, such as "works" and "awards". I have no issues with this.
  • The image File:Glenn Gould and Alberto Guerrero.jpg lacks a proper rationale (I assume the uploader is not the photographer.) It could probably carry the same rationale as the previous image, seeing how it's more than 50 years old.
  • Is Leo Smith not Leo Smith (composer)? Done
  • The "Legacy and honours" section is far too choppy, with too many headings, short sections, and single-sentence paragraphs. It should be reorganized in accordance with WP:BODY.

Then for the lack of referencing:

  • "Gould was known for his vivid musical imagination..." – this paragraph contains too much subjective assessment not to have any references.
  • "Gould developed a formidable technique" – same with this paragraph; it is unclear whether the final ref covers it all. Also, "formidable" is a WP:PEACOCK term, and probably should be avoided altogether, but certainly not stand unreferenced. Done found it on a blog site?
  • "It seems that Gould was able... This is all the more staggering considering..." – again, a word like "staggering is used without any reference. Done
  • "The two recordings are very different..." – this is a personal interpretation. If it's the scholarly consensus, this needs to be shown. Done: Appears to have been fixed some time ago
  • New York Philharmonic concert of April 6, 1962 – there is no references on this event whatsoever, as far as I can see. Done
  • "Some speculate that his extensive use of prescription medications..." – who? Done
  • "His writing style was highly articulate but sometimes florid, indulgent, or rhetorical." – again, unsupported opinion. Done

And finally the unreferenced direct or indirect quotes:

  • "Gould claimed he almost never practised on the piano..."
  • "The piano, Gould said, "is not an instrument for which...""
  • "No, I don't. I play it in a weak moment – maybe once a year or twice a year for myself. But it doesn't convince me." Done
  • "Gould said that if he had not been a musician, he would have been a writer." Done
  • "Thus, the act of musical composition, to Gould..."
  • "Gould likened his process to that of a film director..." Done
  • "Gould referred to himself repeatedly as "the last puritan"" Done

These are some serious issues. I will put the article on hold for a week, but please let me know if it is realistic to expect that they will be addressed. Lampman (talk) 07:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Lampman for the extended review. The nominator for this GA reivew has not been online since she nominated this article. I'd say yes close this nomination. I'll start adressing the issues you've raised. It will take more than a week. The article has not had a proper copy edit (as far as I can tell) for over a year. Argolin (talk) 08:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Changing The Main Photo[edit]

I disagree with using a picture of a statue as Glenn Gould;s main picture instead of a photography of the real person, I doubt the Glenn Gould foundation would oppose to use a real picture of him. There is plenty to choose from; a picture of a younger Gould with his more vigorous style at the piano during his 24 to early 30's when he did a great bulk of his work and he gained so much notoriety for his unique style would better show the real Gould. Please bear in mind that some of the excentricities have been more recently debulked as media tools or as his own advertisement. So showing him walking with a big scarf and gloves does not really tell us much. I think the photograph of the statue would be best placed towards the end when they talk about his legacyGybem (talk) 10:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Good point. I changed the picture in the infobox with one showing Gould playing, courtesy of the Gould foundation. Hope it is better. --Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (talk) 15:36, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The picture needs a caption. Can someone find out the date of the photo? Is he seated at his beloved Steinway CD 318 piano? Proper captioning of photos is a requirement of GA articles. Argolin (talk) 09:48, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Can't find the date nor the source of the picture. Probably taken by Don Hunstein around the 1970s during the same photoshoot of the picture in this NYT article [6]--Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (talk) 10:16, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Afernand74. I'm becoming a big fan of the NY Times. Every major newspaper in Canada wants to charge for access to their archives. I removed the red link in the caption. They're not allowed in GA articles. That is if you're creating an article? Later... Argolin (talk) 11:42, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Afernand74 is there a particluar reason why you set the picture is set to 275px? I perfer the sanadard picutre size used in most music bios. Argolin (talk) 05:29, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Only a cosmetic reason, I am afraid. The infobox used in this article do not allow its size to be set independently from the picture's. Making infobox larger allow the Award list to be more compact. Feel free to revert this change anytime. --Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (talk) 13:56, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I was hoping that was your rationale. I wasn't too happy with it either. I've niped/tucked the award names & album names. I will change your citation to a note, when I get around to using it in the article. Do you know whether credit to the photographer is supposed to go in the caption? I can't remember and don't know all the ins/outs of image usage. Argolin (talk) 21:47, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
No idea. The reason why I put it is because Don Hustein is the author of a long list of covers, artist picture and deserves his own wikipedia page. He is the author of numerous album covers of Gould. [7]. --Alberto Fernandez Fernandez (talk) 13:47, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

First name[edit]

Throughout the article, his first name is spelled "Glenn." The image, however, contains his signature in which his first name is spelled "Glen." I assume that he knew the correct spelling of his own name and therefore the whole article should be changed from "Glenn Gould" to "Glen Gould."Lestrade (talk) 17:51, 20 February 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

You might want to check footnote 1 in the References section. The legal name was Glenn but was subject to variable spelling, even by Gould himself. Welham66 (talk) 14:27, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

To the original poster - As mentioned above, 'Glenn' was his legal name, but he largely omitted the final 'n' when spelling it. Why? A pretty flimsy rationale behind it; he claimed that if he tried to write two 'n's, his hand would just keep going until there were two many. So for convenience, he wrote 'Glen.' When he was a toddler he wrote his name in block capitals under a picture, and it read 'GLENN.' — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:AEFF:1E00:605A:B8DC:993F:9A13 (talk) 17:30, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

CD 318[edit]

There's a brief reference in the article to CD318 - can someone who knows about it please add some more about it? Noel (talk) 00:34, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't know how/where/if to include this (maybe a footnote?) - but, there was a book written about it:
  • Hafner, Katie (2009). A romance on three legs : Glenn Gould's obsessive quest for the perfect piano (Pbk. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1596915250.
And a News Release:
~Eric F (talk) 22:41, 11 January 2013 (UTC)


I noticed the following internal note, and was wondering why an Infobox might not be appropriate (?).   ~Eric F (talk) 20:21, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

<!-- Before adding an infobox, please consult Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers#Biographical infoboxes and seek consensus on this article's talk page. -->

The link found in that note provides an explanation. Toccata quarta (talk) 20:26, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Since there was no discussion regarding a consensus, (pro or con) I just thought it should be brought up. Would #3 (see link) be a primary reason for not having an Infobox? ~E: (talk) 20:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Members of Wikiprojects do no have any more say over the contents of specific articles than anyone else. I read as much of the lengthy linked discussion as my attention span would permit, and didn't see any reasons given as to why articles about composers are more or less suited to the inclusion infoboxes than other biographical articles (none of the numbered reasons referred to above even mention composers). My take on the message is this: it's a warning that some of the many editors who don't like infoboxes (in general) likely have this article on their watchlists, so if you try to add one you had better have a few hours to spare for discussion and you may even have to start an RFC to balance out the discussion with editors who aren't members of the Composers WikiProject, so why even start? It appears more intended to prevent a discussion rather than to provoke one.—Anne Delong (talk) 13:55, 4 May 2017 (UTC)


There are lists on this talk page; while they might not belong in the article, couldn't there be separate list pages, with perhaps a paragraph or two (prose) about the subject(s) of the list(s). It seems there is no shortage of lists associated with pop-stars, etc., I see no reason why these lists don't have a place besides this talk page. ~ Btw, I added a movie to the movie list, and a book to the book list (above). ~Eric F (talk) 22:11, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Help with Gould docs online[edit]

Rather than offering readers links where they they might buy the 1959 docs Glenn Gould - Off the Record and Glenn Gould - On the Record from commercial resellers, I've attempted to revise the cite to reflect the fact that they can now be streamed at no charge from the National Film Board of Canada site. Problem is, we now have two references side by side and I think it would be best to have them both as a single reference, as they are clearly companion films. But I don't know how I might adapt the cite video template accordingly, and I welcome any help or suggestions. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 16:09, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Article Incorrect About Date of Gould's Last Public Performance[edit]

The article inaccurately states that Gould's last public performance was in LA on April 10, 1964. This is not true. I and a friend attended a concert he gave in Fall, 1964 at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I well remember his brilliant, idiosyncratic performance, which included loud humming and a low crouch over the keys. He stroked the keys as though in adoration, gloating over them. Of course he may also have continued to play publicly for some time after the Madison performance. Younggoldchip (talk) 15:50, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. If you intend to change the article, please make sure that you do so without violating WP:RS and WP:REF. Thank you. Toccata quarta (talk) 16:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I found this schedule note in the Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 20, 1964, page 50: "On October 25 the music committee will sponsor a lecture-demonstration by the brilliant young Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. His topic will be, 'Music in the Soviet Union.'" The Wisconsin State Journal for 25 October, 1964, page 23, states: "Today: Glenn Gould lecture-demonstration, 3 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater." I remember this event as being far more demonstration than lecture! His gift was extraordinary, and the experience of seeing him was something I never forgot. Younggoldchip (talk) 15:49, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 4 external links on Glenn Gould. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 19:24, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

World's Greatest Pianist[edit]

User:AnomieBot, you placed "citation needed" on my edit saying that Glenn Gould is one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. However, many other pianists - such as Claudio Arrau - have the same claim on their page, without any "citation needed" tags. Why is this so? Thanks.

Lonious (talk) 10:59, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Quite right; all such claims should be sourced to reliable, independent publications. I added a reference from the New York Times to Arrau's article. If you find any more such unsourced claims, feel free to add a citation to support them, or, if you can't find one, to add a "citation needed" tag. If respected music critics have called Gould "one of the greatest", the published source(s) should be cited; if not, the text should be changed to reflect what they did say. —Anne Delong (talk) 12:26, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Glenn Gould. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 05:01, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Where's the usual, standard Biographical Box which is normally on the Side of all Wikipedia biographical pages?[edit]

Hello. I'm wondering why this page has abandoned standard Wikipedia practices by neglecting to include a biographical box on the right side of the page? A picture and signature, while useful, is not enough information, and by leaving off such standard information as Birthplace, Place of Death (age of death), etc. I feel this page is striking out on its own, as it were, in a way that if copied on a wider scale would lead Wikipedia to become less uniform (also less informative and less easy to use.)

Think about putting the Biographical Box back on this page, as it is done on every other biographical page in Wikipedia, please. Thanks180.57.211.128 (talk) 07:15, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Glenn Gould. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:43, 18 October 2017 (UTC)


May I suggest the subheading "Personal life" instead of "Relationships," since personal life is the commonly used term in Wikipedia for this aspect? The alternative applies to other historical figures or celebrities even if they never married or produced children.Cdg1072 (talk) 20:29, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

We have others at commons. How is non-free justified here? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:10, 23 December 2018 (UTC)

@Anna Frodesiak: I think the argument is that there aren't (yet) any frontal image of Gould as an adult, so the non-free image serves an identification purpose that neither the side-on images nor his childhood images could fill. If you don't agree with this argument, it might be worth opening an FFD about it. Deryck C. 12:32, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi, Deryck. Interesting. I've never heard that one before. I might just open an FFD after all. Many thanks for the good feedback. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:21, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:46, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

"who became"[edit]

What exactly is the sense of introducing Gould as someone who "became" a celebrated pianist? He was such a celebrated pianist, because he became it, but it isn't normal to say that he "became." That kind of indirectness is not used when talking about anyone else, and Gould should be no different.Cdg1072 (talk) 00:03, 31 August 2020 (UTC)

"best known" and "most celebrated" are not hyphenated phrases[edit]

Cdg1072 (talk) 00:11, 31 August 2020 (UTC)